According to latest reports, 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has been arrested by the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department. CNN-News18 reported that the US-designated terrorist has been sent to prison on judicial remand. He will face trial, the report further added.
The arrest comes ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on 22 July. Pakistan had also been pressurised by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It placed Pakistan on its "grey list" of countries with inadequate controls over money laundering and terrorism financing.
The Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and his three aides were granted pre-arrest bail on Monday (15 July) by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan in a case pertaining to the banned outfit's illegal use of land for its seminary. The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore granted interim bail to Saeed and his aides, Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza, and Malik Zafar - until 31 August against surety bonds of Rs 50,000 each, Dawn newspaper reported. During the hearing, Saeed's counsel insisted that Jamat-ud Dawah (JuD) was not using any piece of land illegally and urged the court to accept bail pleas.
" News18 (@CNNnews18) July 17, 2019
Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The US declared the LeT as a foreign terrorist organisation in June 2014.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice. Under pressure from the international community, Pakistani authorities have launched investigations into matters of the JuD, LeT and the FIF regarding their holding and use of trusts to raise funds for terrorism financing.
Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued notices to the federal government, the Punjab government and the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) regarding a petition filed by Saeed and his seven aides, challenging charges of terror financing and money laundering against them.
A two-member bench of the LHC comprising Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry and Justice Mohammad Waheed Khan asked the parties to submit their replies within two weeks.
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police on 3 July registered 23 FIRs against 13 leaders of the JuD, including Saeed on the charges of "terror financing" in different cities of Punjab province.
With inputs from agencies